Jorja Smith: Tiny Desk Concert Watch the rising U.K. star perform intimate renditions of "Blue Lights," "On My Mind" and "Teenage Fantasy" with a full band.

Tiny Desk

Jorja Smith

It's a good thing the weather was gloomy the day Jorja Smith rolled in for her Tiny Desk concert. Even though the skies threatened rain and thunder, the overcast light lingering in our dimmed office space allowed the teardrop pendant lights, hung from the ceiling by her lighting team, to cast the desk in a warm, honey-hued glow. And while the nimble guitar strings and double-time drums of her supporting band was enough to dizzy the focus in the room, it was the U.K. singer's slow, silky cadence that anchored the performance in tranquility.

As Smith worked her way up the scales to each high note in "On My Mind" (a track usually sung over a reverberated garage beat) and "Teenage Fantasy" (a ballad to love lost written when she was 16), there wasn't an ounce of pressure evident in her face or body language. When she closed her eyes to deliver the rap verse of "Blue Lights," the anti-injustice song that first positioned her as a SoundCloud darling in 2016, a hush fell over the room in awe of her precision.

Though Smith's boldface collaborations to date range from Drake to Kali Uchis, her debut album Lost & Found is free of featured acts. Much like this Tiny Desk performance, those 12 tracks show off Smith's talent in a minimalist way — musing about life and love with the ambiguity and sense of agency that only comes with newfound freedom.

After she finished, but before retreating to the comfort of Supreme sweats, Smith and her band bestowed the Tiny Desk with a blue lava lamp signed by every member. Keep an eye out for that Easter egg in future episodes.

Set List

  • "On My Mind"
  • "Teenage Fantasy"
  • "Blue Lights"

Credits

Producers: Sidney Madden, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, Bronson Arcuri; Lighting: Tyler C. Trofatter; Production Assistant: Bobby Carter; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Nubya Garcia plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Nubya Garcia (Home) Concert

One of the British jazz scene's rising stars performs a quarantine concert on the River Thames.

Arlo Parks plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Arlo Parks (Home) Concert

Watch the young London pop artist perform four songs for our Tiny Desk quarantine series.

Declan McKenna plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Declan McKenna (Home) Concert

The 21-year-old McKenna performs a four-song quarantine concert with a full band.

Phoebe Bridgers plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Phoebe Bridgers (Home) Concert

Phoebe Bridgers performs her Tiny Desk quarantine concert in a virtual Oval Office, with help of dozens of fans.

Bill Callahan plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Bill Callahan (Home) Concert

Bill Callahan has a deep pocket of stories to tell. Standing outside his home, he performs a few of them with guitarist Matt Kinsey and trumpet player Derek Phelps.

Protoje plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Protoje (Home) Concert

The reggae star performs a four-song set from the hills outside Kingston.

Burt Bacharach & Daniel Tashian plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Burt Bacharach & Daniel Tashian (Home) Concert

Burt Bacharach, one of pop's historic melody makers, is still performing at age 92, as you'll see in this Tiny Desk quarantine concert with lyricist Daniel Tashian.

Anat Cohen and Marcello Gonçalves play a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Anat Cohen And Marcello Gonçalves (Home) Concert

The Israeli clarinetist and Brazilian guitarist recorded this Tiny Desk quarantine performance in Rio de Janeiro.

Tiwa Savage plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Tiwa Savage (Home) Concert

To mark the release of her newest album, Tiwa Savage and her band, The Alternative Sound, returned to Lagos for a lovely set in a beautiful setting.

Back To Top